Which city is famous for a mountaintop statue of Christ the redeemer? Why Rio of course! You’d think a giant statue of Jesus overlooking a city would be hard to miss, but Rio de Janeiro is a big city! But a visit to this sprawling Brazilian city is not complete without a visit to one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. So how can you visit the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio? Our guest author tells us everything we need to know!
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This is a guest post by Mal Hellyer of rawmelroams.com
When in Rio de Janeiro, you cannot miss visiting Christ the Redeemer, better known to locals as Cristo Redentor. It’s the most famous statue in Brazil, and is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World!
Christ the Redeemer Facts
The statue was created by French sculptor Paul Landowski and was completed in the early 1930s. It’s a symbol of Christianity and is 30 meters high. One of the most surprising facts about Christ the Redeemer? It’s not the highest statue of this sort in the world. In fact, there are 3 higher ones in Bolivia, Poland and Vietnam!
Where is Christ the Redeemer?
Christ the Redeemer is located on Corcovado Mountain in Tijuaca National Park, which happens to lie within Rio’s Cosme Velho neighbourhood.
Other tourist attractions that are nearby include the Botanical Gardens and Park Lage. I would recommend visiting those two places after Cristo. I really enjoyed their tranquillity, which was very much needed after all the excitement of visiting a new wonder of the world!
How to get to Christ the Redeemer?
There are several ways you can get to Christ the Redeemer. Here are some of the most popular options:
- UBER: My preferred option is to take an Uber from your hotel to the lower Corcovado train station. The station is located in Cosme Velho neighbourhood and it will cost around 30R$ ($7.60USD) to get from Copacabana (Taxi fare will cost you around double that).
- Public Transport: Take the metro from Siqueira Campos station to Largo Machado. And then change to bus 405, 498, 583, 422, 180, or 580 to Cosme Velho. This option will cost around 10R$ ($2.55USD).
Christ the Redeemer Tickets
Tickets to see Christ the Redeemer can be purchased from the ticket machines located at the station or from the ticket office. Machines only take cards, whereas the ticket office takes both cash and cards. The tickets cost between 55-70R$ ($14.00 – $18.00USD), depending on the season.
If you’re worried about long queues, you can purchase your entry ticket in advance with priority train boarding. I visited a week before Carnival at the end of February and the queue was very reasonable.
The entrance ticket also includes the Christ the Redeemer train to the top of Corcovado Mountain. From the train station, there are only few steps to the top, and – voila – there he is!
Insider tip: If you want to have the best views on your journey up the mountain, sit facing back in the direction of the train. The same applies on the way back – sit on the train facing the top of the mountain.
There is also an option to hike up the mountain. It takes around 1.5 hours but I would not recommend it. You can get lost, it’s not the safest of routes, and the last thing you want is your camera being pinched before you even get to the top!
Visiting Christ the Redeemer: My Experience
I took an UBER to the train station at Corcovado and purchased a ticket in the ticket machines. After about 10-15 min wait, I managed to get onto the train.
Please be aware there are people on the street that will tell you that there is 2-hour wait to the next train and will try to sell you tickets for a higher price than at the station. This is a scam, so politely refuse and go to the official ticket office to get your ticket.
The train journey only took about 10 min and from where you get off it’s not far to the balcony where the statue of Christ the Redeemer is located. It was so convenient that I felt that I hadn’t earned it!
I arrived too late and the place was so crowded that it was almost impossible to take any photos without sharing the frame with strangers from all over the world! That is why I highly recommend getting there before the opening time.
I also had to queue to the end of the balcony to get a glimpse of the view. But the hustle was so worth it! I honestly believe that Rio de Janeiro has the most scenic, incredible views in the world!
On the way back, I couldn’t help myself and I got a little wooden statue from a gift shop.
My next stop was the Botanical Gardens. It’s a great place to take a deep breath and relax after all the excitement. You can also admire Cristo from the park – this time from the distance.
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Christ the Redeemer Photo Tips
The site opening times are 8:00 to 19:00, so arrive before 8 am to get onto the first train for the best photo opportunities and a better overall experience.
It is very tricky to take a picture of Christ the Redeemer and a person at the same time, especially when it’s very crowded. The statue is so high and there is no room to get far enough in front of it. If you want to try, one person needs to lie down flat on the ground in front of it.
Another idea is to go a bit further in front of the statue to the first stairs. The photographer goes down to the next level to take a picture of a person standing on the stairs. This will only work if it’s not too crowded.
If you like selfies, you can use a selfie stick. Stand in front of the statue and position your selfie stick somewhere in line with your knees.
Another great photo opportunity is at the bottom of the balcony. The view of Sugar Loaf Mountain and the city is just breathtaking.
The sun will rise in front of the statue and set behind it. This means the best time to take photos of the statue is morning to early afternoon. However the best time to take a photo of the view is late afternoon.
Christ the Redeemer Tours
If you’re only staying in Rio for 1 or 2 days, there are plenty of tours that combine Christ the Redeemer with other top Rio attractions like Sugar Loaf Mountain and Selaron Stairs.
Another popular choice is to combine it with a visit to Tijuca Park, which Corcovado is a part of.
For those that are serious about their photography, a helicopter tour will be an ideal option to get this perfect shot of Cristo and watch the breathtaking Rio panorama.
Whatever option you go for, remember to try to select a clear sky day for the best experience.
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